Glasgow Warriors keep their cool to defeat Stormers amid two yellow cards in a minute
The South African side endured a mad couple of minutes just before half-time as they were reduced to 13 men and the home side made them pay, extending a lead they would not relinquish.
The Warriors had to withstand a period of sustained pressure in the second half but finished strongly to secure a 20-9 victory in front of a noisy home support. No points were scored after the interval but two tries from the prolific Johnny Matthews and one from the returning Sione Tuipulotu during the first half were enough. George Horne converted one and added a penalty but all the Stormers could muster were nine points from the boot of Sacha Feinberg-Mngomezulu.
Glasgow beat the Stormers last season on a famous night at Scotstoun and they repeated the trick with a performance full of vigour. The two Siones, Tuipulotu and Vailanu, were both outstanding, with the former being named player of the match.
It was the Stormers who got the first points on the board through a penalty from Feinberg-Mngomezulu after Ollie Smith didn’t release under pressure from the inside centre.
It seemed to galvanise the Warriors who responded with two tries in five minutes, both from set-piece ball. Tuipulotu got the first and it was simplicity itself. From a scrum close to the corner, Horne fed Stafford McDowall who delayed the pass just long enough as Tuipulotu ran the perfect line. Horne converted. Matthews then got his first of the night, a trademark score off a lineout maul.
Feinberg-Mngomezulu kept Stomers in touch with a penalty in between Glasgow’s first two tries, then he and Horne exchanged further penalties as the clock crept towards half-time. It had been physical but fair up to that point but the game exploded in the final moments of the first half as the Stormers were reduced to 13 men. Evan Roos was first to be yellow-carded, tackling Matt Fagerson off the ball by lifting and dumping the Glasgow flanker to the floor. The players had barely time to catch breath before Joseph Dweba followed him into the sin-bin for a similarly crazy offence. At least Greg Peterson had the ball as the South African hooker lifted him off his feet but it was dangerous nonetheless.
The Warriors made the visitors pay almost immediately, Matthews bursting through to score from another driving maul. Glasgow went in at the turn 20-9 ahead but the Stormers managed to come through the opening minutes of the second period without any further damage as Roos and Dweba returned to the fray.
The South Africans looked a dangerous proposition with their full complement and they enjoyed a period of dominance which had Glasgow creaking. McDowall was warned about the number of penalties they were conceding but it was an impressive defensive effort as the Stormers were held up on the line. They continued to press but when Glasgow won a massive scrum penalty in front of their own posts and against the head the Scotstoun crowd roared their approval.
The experienced Duncan Weir was sent on to help manage the game for the final quarter and did so admirably.
Scorers: Glasgow Warriors: Tries: Tuipulotu, Matthews 2. Con: Horne. Pen: Horne. DHL Stormers: Pens: Feinberg-Mngomezulu 3.
Yellow cards: Roos (Stormers, 38min), Dweba (Stormers, 39min)
Glasgow Warriors: O Smith; S Cancelliere, S Tuipulotu, S McDowall, K Rowe; T Jordan (D Weir 63), G Horne (J Dobie 77); O Kebble (J Bhatti 50), J Matthews (A Fraser 77), Z Fagerson (L Sordoni 63), G Peterson (20 Alex Samuel (77), R Gray (S Cummings 50), M Fagerson, R Darge, S Vailanu (H Venter 72).
DHL Stormers: W Gelant; A Davids (A-H Venter 44-48), B Loader, S Feinberg-Mngomezulu, L Zas; J-L du Plessis (C Blommetjies 65), H Jantjies; A Vermaak (L Gqoboka 49), J Dweba (A-H Venter 61), N Fouche, B-J Dixon, R van Heerden (G Porter 49), W Engelbrecht (M Theunissen 49), E Roos, K Morabe (A Smith).
Referee: Chris Busby (IRFU)
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